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A Well Equipped Blog



Just “Google” It! by Educator Jill Wattenbarger

September 27, 2012 at 8:29 am | Uncategorized | No comment


Yesterday I had the opportunity to catch up with a friend that I have not seen in a few months.  I was asking her how her son, who is in the 3rd grade this year, is adapting to the new school year.  She explained that he really liked his teacher.  A few days ago she was showing them YouTube videos to explain the definitions of comparing on contrasting.  We laughed as we remembered how it was when we were in the 3rd grade that when we watched a movie it was with a reel and a movie projector.  Who would have thought that when we were kids that the next generation can just use technology such as the World Wide Web to find out anything and everything they wanted to know about something?  Even as I was researching my final paper during my senior year of college in the late 1990’s, we did not have “Google” or the internet.  My final paper topic was “Exercise and Fibromyalgia”.  I remember countless hours sitting in the medical library researching medical journals- yes, the hard back kind.  Things would have been so much easier and faster with “Google”.

While Google and the internet are second nature to us now and so advantageous, they have a downside often providing us with “too much” knowledge.  For example, if you want to know something about a person – just “Google” them!  You will find everything there is to know!  This ability to attain information at the speed of light is often positive – but also has a downside.  Such as in the case of “Googling” diseases and certain medical conditions.  You will learn all about the disease but also the “worst case scenario”.  But we all know that no two people are alike nor does a disease affect every person the same way.  Three years ago, a friend of mine was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and the first thing her physician told her was “Whatever you do, do not Google MS”.  You are going to find the worst of the worst of the disease and it will freak you out.  But it is our human nature now that if we or one of our loved ones are diagnosed with an illness, that our first instinct is to get on the web to learn more about it.  We have so many questions that need to be answered; what is this disease exactly?  How is it going to affect my body, daily living, exercise routine?  How is it going to affect those around me?  Sure, most of these questions can and should be answered by our physicians, but what about the part of my daily exercise routine?  I have many friends that are physicians and they will be the first to tell you that, unfortunately, exercise programming is not thoroughly taught in the medical school curriculum.  This is where exercise professionals come in.

We have the responsibility to our clients to gain as much education and knowledge as we can about the various diseases that affect our clients and how we can help them stay active and live a productive life.  Without question, the very first thing we should do is request medical clearance from the person’s physician to participate in exercise.  Have the client complete a health history or Par-Q; then consider having a release form signed by the client, physician and exercise professional so we may all communicate  about the potential restrictions and exercise guidelines.  As exercise professionals, we are able to spend a more time with clients – and have the advantage of developing a strong rapport with our clients that have special needs.  It is estimated that a physician spends approximately twenty minutes with each patient and actual office appointments are only every few months.  Exercise professionals have the opportunity to see our clients at least weekly if not several times a week.  So, they are going to rely a lot on us for answers or suggestions to tailor their exercise program for their disease. For example, a draft from an air conditioner can cause a flare-up in Fibromyalgia patients so if our studio or gym tends to be a little chilly we might suggest to them to bring a light sweater.  On the opposite side of the spectrum, MS are very heat sensitive and increasing their core temperature too much could exacerbate symptoms so exercising outside in sunny FL during the heat of the day should be avoided.

Exercise professionals get the unique privilege of helping those afflicted with a disease (or better known as a special population) increase their function and gain strength – and instead of focusing on what they cannot do, focus on what they can do to increase living healthier.

Please join me as I deliver the Well Equipped workshop “Exercise Considerations for Special Populations on Sat. October 6 at The Ranch Fitness Center and Spa in Ocala, FL.  Visit www.well-equipped.com Homepage to register today!


“The Challenge of Change” by Educator Stephanie Collins

September 5, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Uncategorized | No comment


Change is never easy.  In fact for most of us, change is really hard.   It creates uncertainty and forces us to be in uncomfortable positions.  Why do we dislike change?   At times change puts us in unfamiliar territory……it’s a bit scary and takes us our of our comfort zones.  If you are anything like me, when change comes rearing its big ugly head my gut instinct is to run fast to whatever is comfortable, normal, easy, and safe!  The desire to run to my “safe zone” has been greater than ever now as we move the family to a new city and begin anew.  It has caused me to pause and take full inventory.

No one likes not knowing how things will “work out” and no one likes to feel out of control.  I have realized, however, that I (we all!) have two choices when facing change.  1.  Stick the ‘ol head in the sand to ignore the big ugly change monster and use excuses and denial as a coping mechanism (!) OR 2.  Face the challenge of change head on.   I really want to choose number 1!

But,  the only way to grow as a person, to learn, and to become more resilient is to face change head on.   Yes, there will be growing pains, but the wonderful part about change is that on the other side is full of potential.  So while any change does create uncertainty, change is the catalyst for opportunity and growth.

The next time you face the challenge of change, look at it as something wonderful, something that will make you a better person.   Even better – push yourself to change something in your life where you have become complacent!  Set some personal career goals, personal fitness or nutrition goals, lifestyle goals – ANYTHING – and make your mind up to EMBRACE everything that is part of the process.  Start today!

Want to join Stephanie for an inspiring live workshop?  Register now for her events in Illinois on Saturday, September 15.  Please visit www.well-equipped.com for all the details.


A K.I.S.S. for Personal Trainers by Educator Maurice Williams

September 3, 2012 at 10:24 am | Uncategorized | No comment


In today’s world of exercise, it can be overwhelming to keep up with the “latest” and “greatest” exercise programs.  Programs such as CrossFit, Metabolic Effect (ME), Tabata, P90x, Insanity, Les Mills Body Pump, etc. are all great forms of exercise when designed and used appropriately. But as a result of the popularity of these programs, trainers can find themselves in a compromising situation with clients. In an effort to challenge and retain our clients, we may give in and give them what they “want” before they are truly ready.  And sadly, on the flip side, some very viable programs get labeled as too aggressive.  How can we strike a balance?

Let’s pause for a moment and remember that what allows our clients to achieve their goals without injury is proper progression, not a particular program. Here are five steps I suggest you take that will allow you to progress your client in a safe and fun fashion.

  1. Assess: Have a starting point.  Perform something as simple as a Par-Q, exercise and injury history eval, or body weight and circumference measurements – or choose a little more detailed option like the Gray Cook Movement Screen or NASM’s overhead squat.  Tangible measurement and feedback goes a long way with your client.
  2. Start slow.  After the assessment is done, develop the program.  The program should be initially designed for no more than a week or so worth of workouts for two primary reasons: 1. You do not want to plan out too far with their workouts to then find out within the 1st week that what you’ve designed is too advanced (or too simple) for their current fitness level and 2. Your client wants to feel like they can do the exercises on their own, thus developing  a sense of ownership and self-efficacy.
  3. Ask for feedback: Often, clients will just ‘roll’ with whatever we’ve given them – even if they don’t understand why they are doing the exercises or even it gives them unusual discomfort (i.e. pain)! Ask your client how they feel during, after and at the beginning of new each session. For example: “Rob, let’s talk about what muscles on your body are working (or not working) when we perform the squat to row exercise?  Did you feel it in your back or shoulders?  How about in your abdominals or legs? Can you describe the feeling to me?”  This will go a long in way in helping clients understand how each exercise should feel and is a great indicator of the appropriateness and effectiveness of the exercise selections.
  4. Continue to assess: The initial assessment is not the only time you should  be assessing. Each workout is an assessment. A wise fitness pro once said said: “If you’re not assessing, then you’re guessing!” We should be constantly checking form, facial reactions, breathing patterns, etc. Also, we should have regularly scheduled check-in’s in terms of weight/fat loss, and strength and/or muscle imbalances – if this falls in line with their respective goals.
  5. Change the acute variables: Acute variables are sets, reps, intensity, tempo, exercise selection, etc. Our clients typically gauge exercise success/progression based upon an increase in weight, sets or reps. This is our opportunity to transform their thinking with other variables that are out there!  For example, the next time you have your client perform a plank (or prone iso ab), instead of them holding it for 60 seconds, break it down into 10 reps of 6 second holds.  They will feel an immediate difference and may  ask you: “Why does this feel so different when we are still doing the same exercise?”  This is your opportunity to transform their thinking and understanding!

Remember, the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple!) concept is applicable for  fitness professionals too! If you follow the five simple steps above, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a healthy relationship with your client and thus moving them closer to those ‘advanced’ workouts they crave!

Join Educator Maurice Williams on September 14, 2014  for a live workshop at the Rock Creek Sports Club  in Silver Spring, MD.  Visit www.-well-equipped.com for full details and to register!


“The Quickie” by Jane Bahneman

July 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Uncategorized | No comment


I have to admit today to everyone that I am a failure! It is NOT a term I am comfortable with in any way, shape, or form. I promised to blog every Tuesday when I started this endeavor, and I have fallen (far) short of that goal. After beating myself up over it, I went for a run to reflect.

I just took three weeks off from running to recover, cross train, and heal from the stresses my beloved sport often causes me. On this run today, however, it came to me that I “blog” while I run. This is where my ideas come to life and my inspiration is often generated. So with this new awareness, I either need to find an alternative muse for when I take running breaks or I need to never take time off from running. I am still sitting with those options…but what I have figured out of is that my blog need not be perfect to be published. Nike says it best “Just do it.” So here is a “quickie” to get me back on the road to blogging success!

What inspired me today that I felt was worthy of sharing with my fellow fitness enthusiasts is that every experience on our path is divinely placed. Even failures. Even blogging failures(!) Each experience is an opportunity to learn something about ourselves or to become more sensitive to others. What did I learn? Frequently a perfectionist and a lover of systematic organization – these qualities have served me well on many occasions, but not so much when it came to my life as a blogger. Ebbing and flowing a bit more in this process might allow me to meet my weekly blogging goal!

And, as I huffed and puffed running through the South Florida summer heat and humidity – which is a force to be reckoned with in and of itself – I also pondered how difficult it is to start an exercise program. Period. Add to it being deconditioned, overweight, post-surgery or injury, or physically challenged in any way. I considered the courage it takes to walk or jog that first step, to take the first GF class, or to hire that personal trainer – and the fear of failure that accompanies these leaps of faith.

I realized that any first try will likely come with a few failures. What counts is that we muster up the energy and courage to start again. And perhaps a “failure” could be greeted gently with an easing back into movement (ie. a quickie workout anyone?) – rather than beating ourselves up for missing the mark!

IDEA World Fitness Convention starts this week on July 5. Their motto has long been ‘Inspire the World to Fitness’.  With a whole beautiful summer wide open in front of us, I invite you to set a few new movement or fitness goals, try a new activity, and bring a friend along to workout with you who otherwise might not go.  Be open to anything and everything that crosses the path on that journey!


“You’re a Tool…and I Thank You” by Don Bahneman

May 11, 2012 at 10:58 am | Uncategorized | No comment


As we walk through the path of our life, we experience many encounters that either define us or provide us an opportunity for redemption. Sometimes these moments show up and we do not even know what is happening at the time. Other moments are very clear and we either rise to the occasion, or fall short. Can you reflect on some of these moments?

Without getting too Dr. Phil or preachy, I think that these moments happen more in the fitness and wellness industry that we recognize.

Imagine the courage needed to go into a gym and seek help from an absolute stranger in order to look or feel better? Let alone handing over potentially thousands of hard earned dollars to that person on a whim to chisel out the perfect version of themselves that rests within the new client’s mind? How about walking into a group fitness class being tone-deaf and having two left feet?

These moments of vulnerability and a wanting desire for help and guidance are pivotal points for people – specifically for the individual looking for improvement and the fitness professional that is standing there in front of them. The question I ask of you is this….Are you the right tool to get the job done?

I have had the pleasure of working with people as a fitness professional for nearly twenty years and I can honestly say that seeing the success in others is truly what drives me.

The success of a personal training client reaching a goal.

The success of a personal trainer that I mentor and help develop into a better professional.

The success of a group in one of my lectures “getting it” – when  you see the wheels turning as they are working to blend the new information into their practice.

As a fitness professional, I try to recognize my shortcomings and often stay in my comfort zone. But I also find ways to frequently and safely challenge myself and broaden my “comfort zone”.  I have invested a large amount of time in crafting my practice as a fitness professional with college education, multiple certifications, and variable experiences so I feel adequately ready to handle most situations when I am approached. While there are hundreds of certifications and cont ed opportunities among the “great wide open” that is the fitness industry, there are only a handful that I would recognize as a-cut-above-the-rest.

With this, and the vast array of choices in the industry, I encourage you to pursue areas of fitness that you love, not necessarily areas that will only make you money. You need to love what you do. A hammer is perfect for hitting the head of a nail. A saw effectively cuts through a wood plank. And  a screwdriver ….you get the point. Be selective and contemplative along your professional path. The right tool for the right job is is the one that is properly chosen and applied and will thus ultimately be successful.

So, sharpen your ‘tool’ for the moments that present themselves to you everyday as a fitness professional.

Please, be a tool…..that’s my goal!


“The Power of Connection” Guest Blog with Educator Bre Rowh

April 10, 2012 at 10:35 am | Uncategorized | No comment


Do you ever wonder why some group fitness classes are filled while others are empty, independent of the class style or time? It is often a result of the instructor who teaches. While choreography and cueing are fundamental to teaching safe, effective and entertaining classes – they are not fundamental in keeping your class participants returning!

True connection occurs when the instructor makes each participant feel special and this involves great multitasking on the part of the instructor.  There are often as many varying personalities as there are bodies in the studio!

The instructor must be aware of the needs and personality types, which are ever-changing, each time he/she walks into their studio. Below is a helpful breakdown of how these personalities can be grouped and how each prefers to be treated:

-        The new participants want to know what they’ve gotten themselves into and seek assurance that they can do this. Easy mentoring can be a quick and private introduction with a brief tour of the studio and the class, example: “Hi, my name is… and I’m going to be your instructor today. I don’t recognize you, is this your first time here? Here are some helpful tips…..you can get your bench and risers from over here!” These participants often stand to the back of the room and do not engage in pre-class interaction with other participants.

-        The middle of the room is often filled with regulars, who are not quite comfortable with moving to the front of the room but want to feel valued and appreciated. These participants feel most connected when the instructor remembers his/her name and shows care/concern for the details in their life. This might mean thanking them for returning, asking about their family or recognizing that they really challenged themselves in your class last week, got a new haircut, etc.

-        The front row is filled with your easiest participants to connect with, both in proximity and in verbal exchange. These participants could lead the class for you if you ever to go down mid-workout and might even relish in the opportunity.(!) Connect with your front row by seeking their feedback on class choreography or new exercise design and praise them for their contributions to the workout, example: “I love the interesting twist you’ve added to the choreography; I’ll have to remember that for next time!”

Taking the time to recognize and connect with each of the participants and personalities within your studio makes your class more than just a workout. It converts the studio into a place of belonging and support, which will go much further in holding your members accountable to their workout and to you!

Join Bre Rowh as she shares insight gained from her years of professional experiences.  Bre leads “4,3,2…Show Me What to Do!” at the Well Equipped One Day Event on April 21.  Register online now at www.umdfitnessevent.eventbrite.com.


“You Should Always Have a Blue Print” Guest Blog with Educator Maurice Williams

April 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Uncategorized | No comment


Some wise person once said: “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.” This proverb can be applied to many facets of life today.  For instance, a homebuilder that goes into the home building process without a plan of execution will soon discover the difficulties of building the home. The same applies to a high school student charged with the task of memorizing Julius Caesar, but waits until the evening before to start the memory process. Ouch!  In my world of exercise and fitness, the same rule applies. A time invested, well thought out plan must accompany any client’s exercise program. This plan is called a blueprint.

According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, a blueprint is a detailed plan or program of action. As a fitness professional, when a person comes to me with a goal of weight loss, to run a 5K or to feel better, it is my job to figure out how we are going to arrive at their desired goals. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through a concept called program design. Program design (or Periodization) is the “fitness blueprint” that will take you from disbelief to belief, from pain to pain free, and from sadness to gladness!

A training plan consists of a specific outline created to meet a client’s goals that will detail the type of training, the length of training, future changes and the specific exercises to be performed. Although underutilized amongst fitness professionals, a detailed program design has been shown to be effective. Despite the fact that there are various ways to develop a client’s blueprint, the following list is key to any successful program being designed.

Repetitions: one complete movement of a particular exercise
Sets: A group of consecutive reps
Training intensity: your level of effort compared to your maximum effort; how hard you’re working
Repetition tempo: the speed at which you perform each repetition
Training volume: the total amount of work you will do in a given setting
Rest interval: the time it takes you to recover
Training frequency: the number of times you will exercise in a given time period
Training duration: the total amount of time for your workout and the total amount of time spent in a phase of training
Exercise selection: choosing the appropriate exercises that you will given your results in a safe fashion

As a fitness professional, it is my (our) primary responsibility to design an appropriate program for all clients. Each program must be based upon that individual’s needs and not my own needs or the latest and greatest exercise to come into the fitness world.

After all, our clients depend upon us to guide them to their desired goals. The acute variables mentioned above are the keys to putting their program design into an actual training plan that is not only safe and effective, but just as importantly fun and exciting.

Liking what you read?  Well, so do we!  Join Maurice Williams as he teaches stellar CEC/CEU approved sessions with us for a Well Equipped One Day Educational Event at the University of Maryland on April 21, 2012.  Registration is now open and available on the www.well-equipped.com homepage. 



Guest Blog with Team Educator Elsa Heffernan

March 27, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Uncategorized | No comment


Social Media Resources for Exercise Adherence

Exercise adherence, that elusive “sticktuitiveness” that we all chase in ourselves – and in our client populations – is about as difficult to come by as it is important to overall fitness.   When it comes to fitness, setting goals, becoming a part of a community, and tracking progress are all strategies that can lead to increased adherence and success.  Social media, whether through traditional sources like Facebook or Twitter or sites dedicated to fitness, can be a great supplement to a fitness plan.  Here are some creative ways you can incorporate social media into your program to engage your client population and encourage adherence and engagement.  There are many ideas and strategies out there, but this is just what I have seen experience runaway success in the past six months:

  1. From the Ground Up: As the manager of a facility looking for a new program for members, you can create a group on Facebook or a dedicated hashtag on Twitter that will set the stage for a fitness cooperative or competition.  CrossFit Advanced in Lehigh, Pennsylvania started a movement this year when they initiated and publicized the Royal Burpee Challenge all over various social media outlets.  The concept is simple – fitness junkies all over the world can join the Royal Burpee Challenge and participate on Facebook, Twitter, or their social network of choice.  Starting on February 11, 2012, they do one burpee.  Every day after, they do another until they reach 115 burpees on June 4th (Royal Burpee’s birthday).  This provides participants with a way to broadcast their impressive accomplishments to friends not participating, and to engage with others who are, offering and accepting support along the way.  It also created a huge groundswell of support and such an interest in the $25 commemorative t-shirts that the company had to release them early.  A fun long-running event like this, or a local competition at your facility alone, can be a great way for participants to get together and share their progress with others. 
  2. Build-In Networks: Tracking progress and telling others about success can be a great strategy for sticking to goals.  Many people, whether they are just getting into fitness or training for their third ultra marathon, already engage on social networks for support and bragging rights.  There are many networks that exist exclusively to share health and fitness goals.  These include Fitocracy, RunKeeper, Spark People, and many others flooding the market every day.  Fitness professionals who know about or personally participate in these sites but do not use it to advance their professional reputations are missing a huge opportunity.  A site like Fitocracy allows users to log any kind of work out to earn a set number of points, so for a group exercise trainer, this could be a way to keep students motivated when they get home after class.  At the end of class, the teacher could remind students to log their workout and talk about it, tracking progress and engaging with classmates and the teacher.  This will create a community out of the classroom and provide a way for students to incorporate an hour-long class into a week’s worth of fitness goals.  Connecting with the teacher and other students may also provide valuable feedback.  Put the Fitocracy logo on your marketing materials and make sure potential clients and customers know that you are savvy and plugged in to this resource.  Create a group and have users earn points throughout the week.  Provide a free session to the person who earns the most points in one month.  The possibilities are endless!
  3. Broadcast Feedback: As a professional fitness provider, you have undoubtedly provided invaluable service and made an outstanding positive impact on the life of at least one of your clients.  Chances are, your client is one of the 845 million people that uses Facebook and according to statistics from late 2011, probably has somewhere around 120 friends on this network.  Receiving testimonials on Facebook (or any other social network) can be a viral marketing tool for your business.  Furthermore, if your client engages with you on Facebook, either to thank you for helping her reach her fitness goals or to make a testimonial about how fun your class is, you can share it or re-post it to all of your (likely 120) friends or connections.  This tactic of viral marketing can either arise organically or strategically.  Chances are, if you engage with your clients or students on social networks, they will actively pay attention to what you do because, as their educator, they are looking to model their behavior after yours.  This will probably create some buzz, but if not, you can make a general announcement after a program or post on any marketing materials or forms that you appreciate feedback from clients on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.  Finally, if you have a client who has recently reached a goal, encourage them to share their results and offer to share it on your personal or professional page as well.  Not only will this help you position yourself as a professional who can help people reach their goals, but it will also provide them with another public forum to showcase their valued accomplishment. 

Engaging on social media is valuable in every industry.  Fitness is an industry that if often all about results.  Engaging with your client population using simple social media resources to help them meet (and brag about) their goals makes these results more valuable to your client, adds an element of dynamism and external encouragement to the fitness program you have created, and provides a simple way to leverage the success you have facilitated in your client population as an opportunity to grow your business.

Give one of these ideas a try! (And if it works, don’t forget to mention it on Facebook.)
Well Equipped Team Educator Elsa Heffernan will be teaching at the Well Equipped One Day Event at the University of Maryland on April 21, 2012.  Be sure to attend and learn so much more about the world of social branding and optimizing social media as a fitness professional.  Registration is now open at www.well-equipped.com.


“March 24!” guest blog with Educator Stephanie Collins

March 6, 2012 at 7:46 am | Uncategorized | No comment


When discussing our careers, my good friend and colleague asked me a few months back “Where does your passion lie?”

It made me stop and think.  What am I truly passionate about in my job after over a decade in the industry?  What do I really love in this field?

Over the past few months I have been trying to gauge my passion in this ever-changing and evolving fitness industry.   As I have contemplated my career passion I realized that I must consider those moments when I have been personally inspired and motivated to do more and be better.  I considered the time when a former student opened his own personal training studio.  He had just graduated and I was in awe of his hard work, dedication, and desire to be successful.  He completely rocked the entire process from his business plan and website to his personal training and client successes!  I was amazed at how he flourished and had used his education to be “more”, to be better, and to encourage others.

As I continued to think about my career, all of the inspiring and motivating moments that I was recounting circled back to the same word:  Education.  My passion lies in educating aspiring fitness professionals, leaders and students as they journey through this amazing industry.  Through education we all can inspire – and give those we mentor a thirst for learning, a determination to strive for the best, and a desire to make an impact.   Through education we awaken the passion in those we teach and the clients we touch.

Well Equipped exemplifies this passion for education and will be offering a one day continuing education workshop on March 24, 2012 in Louisville KY.  I am excited and honored to welcome friend and colleague, Don Bahneman, as he shares his knowledge with fitness professionals in Louisville, KY and the surrounding area.

If you have never had the opportunity to take any sessions with Don, here is your chance!  His humorous presentation style partnered with his level of experience and insight knock you off your feet!  You will be entertained and educated at the highest level – I encourage you to join us as we take advantage of this great continuing education opportunity in the Louisville area.

Feed your passion to learn, be the best “you”, and make an impact!  Join us on March 24!


“Sunscreen” by Jane Bahneman

February 29, 2012 at 11:38 am | Uncategorized | No comment


A few weeks ago, a yoga teacher I enjoy played this decade-plus old song in her class. It made me laugh and remember as I listened and stood on my head. Take a moment to read the lyrics below when you have some time to kill.

Wondering why this is my “choice” of blog this week?  I have been navigating the deep sea of social networking a great deal lately.  Social branding and connecting is valuable on many levels.  Like it or not, you must evolve with it or be left behind.

What has surprised me, though, is what people are willing to “put out there”, as these cyber-posts become a part of who we (or our business) are in a way, the persona we want visible to the world.  The quirky posts are at times pretty entertaining, I totally admit.  I am speaking more to the posts that can hurt, insult, or shame other people or even entire groups of people.

One thing yogic philosophy has graced me with is an understanding that when we have a fierce reaction, emotion, or staunch belief system that seems to define us to pause and look within.  Explore.

These lyrics are simple, and simply put.  Tips.  Suggestions. Thoughts.  We are all simply human and so much more alike than we are different.

Live on, social media, as you move business, commerce, and personal connections forward at light speed.  As we maximize these fan-tab-u-lous mediums may we also recognize the power that exists to cultivate awareness, tolerance, and kindness.

Live.In.Love. – Jane

Lyrics to “(Everybody’s Free) to Wear Sunscreen” by Baz Luhrmann

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’97.
Wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…
I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked…
You’re not as fat as you Imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind.
The kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy;
Sometimes you’re ahead,
Sometimes You’re behind.
The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults;
If you Succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.
Whatever you do, don’t Congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either.
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.
Enjoy your body, Use it every way you can… Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people Think of it,
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own…

Dance… even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings;
They are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard;
Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will Philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you.
Maybe you have a trust fund, Maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen…